Summer blockbuster season is upon us. Since the late 1940s, Hollywood studios have used their biggest stars and most promising scripts to lure audiences into the cinema and away from other competing summertime activities.

People have a propensity to go to the movies when the weather is unpleasant and outdoor activities are limited. But when the weather is nice, as it usually is during the summer months, studios have a harder time drawing crowds.

This is why studios pull out the big guns and release their blockbusters this time of year. (Incidentally, the term “blockbuster” is derived from the name of a World War II bomb that was, at the time, the highest-capacity explosive used in warfare.)

Last week, I took my kids to see IF—the current #1 movie in America and one of this summer’s most anticipated blockbusters.

IF movie posterStarring Ryan Reyolds and John Krasinski, IF, which stands for “Imaginary Friend,” is about a girl who discovers that she can see other people’s imaginary friends.

I don’t remember ever having an imaginary friend when I was a child, but I know people who do. And they all recall their imaginary friends with fondness.

According to Dr. Marjorie Taylor, author of Imaginary Companions and the Children Who Create Them, about 65 percent of children have imaginary friends. Why do they have them?

The answers vary, but most generally come down to there being a void in children’s lives that needs filled, like a lack of companionship, creative outlets, or opportunities to assert control.

Sometimes members of a team can experience similar voids in their lives. A lack of companionship could be the source of their voids, but so could a lack of connection, encouragement, reassurance, or purpose.

Voids can lead team members to assume personas that may be detrimental to their teams’ success. Team members can become indifferent, distant, or apathetic.

Part of being a good teammate is recognizing when a member of your team is hurting because something is missing in their life. You can help resolve this situation—if you can fill the void.

  • Providing a discouraged teammate with encouragement fills the void.
  • Providing a doubting teammate with reassurance fills the void.
  • Providing an emotionally detached teammate with connection fills the void.
  • Providing an apathetic teammate with a sense of purpose fills the void.

When there is a void in purpose, teammates tend to fill that void with pleasure—the sort of self-centered, self-indulging, bad-habit pleasure that disrupts their teams’ cultures.

Good teammates must work tirelessly to prevent these disruptions from happening. What good teammates provide cannot be imaginary, invisible, or pretend. It must be real.

Providing real impact is the equivalent of a blockbuster good teammate move.

As always…Good teammates care. Good teammates share. Good teammates listen. Go be a good teammate.

Lance Loya is the founder and CEO of the Good Teammate Factory and the creator National Be a Good Teammate Day (July 22nd). He is a former sports coach turned bestselling author, blogger, and professional speaker, who inspires TEAMBUSTERS to become TEAMMATES. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or through his weekly Teammate Tuesday blog.

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